Visit East Belfast
Visit East Belfast and enjoy all it has to offer during your stay in the city. Spectate your favourite sport; watch Ulster Rugby at the Ravenhill stadium or cheer on local football team, 'The Glens', at The Oval. Get active; walk or cycle one, or both, of the two Greenways, take a climb at the Castlereagh Hills or explore and find out more about some of the most famous icons: George Best, CS Lewis and Van Morrison!
The Northern Ireland Assembly: the seat of government, sits in Parliament Buildings, located in the grounds of the fabulous Stormont Estate. Learn more about the history of ‘our wee country’ and enjoy a walk in beautiful surroundings. Free tours of the building are available Monday to Friday at 10am and 3pm.
Walking and cycling: If you enjoy walking or cycling then East Belfast is the place to be. This is the only part of the city to have two Greenways which offer traffic free routes from Titanic Quarter to the Castlereagh Hills and from Belfast City Centre to Comber. For the free, self-guided Connswater Community Greenway Trails Guide visit www.communitygreenway.co.uk/trails.
Sightseeing: Many famous people hail from the east of the city including George Best, CS Lewis and Van Morrison.
East Belfast has a great selection of public art to view and to get started you can use a free self-guided trail to explore some of the highlights.
The Van Morrison (self-guided) trail
The Van Morrison Trail, developed by Connswater Community Greenway, will take you on a journey through the east Belfast of Van's youth. The 3.5 kilometre trail should take approximately two hours to complete, so wear a comfortable pair of shoes and be prepared for the weather – it isn’t always sunny in Belfast! The Trail is a wonderful opportunity for you to visit some of the places that Morrison knew as a child growing up. Many of these places, and the people who lived there, were to shape the character and values of 'Van the Man'. You will discover on your journey that some of them are referenced in his lyrics and music.
For a full ‘sight and sound’ experience of the Van Morrison Trail, be sure to check out the map that accompanies the booklet. You will notice that there are QR codes alongside a number of the locations. Simply scan each QR code into your smart phone to download a short song extract related to that location. For a guide to using QR codes and to download the Trail and Map please visit www.communitygreenway.co.uk/vanmorrisontrail.
The CS Lewis (self-guided) trail
The CS Lewis Trail, developed by Connswater Community Greenway, will take you to the places that influenced and inspired the young CS Lewis. Clive Staples Lewis was one of the intellectual giants of the 20th Century. He wrote more than 40 books, ranging from children's fantasy literature to popular theology.
Download the trail from www.communitygreenway.co.uk/trails.
You will find more pieces of public art in Stormont Estate and Titanic Quarter. There are also a vast number of political and community murals throughout east Belfast for you to view. If you prefer your art
in one place then there are a number of art galleries available.
Shopping: If you fancy some retail therapy, visit the Connswater Shopping Centre or for an 'off the beaten track' experience visit Bloomfield Avenue, Belmont and Cregagh Roads.
Eating: Ballyhackamore Village and the Belmont Road are home to some excellent cafes and restaurants and a great selection of food for locals and visitors to sample including Italian, Indian, Chinese, Traditional, Pub Grub, Bring Your Own Bottle and much more. To find out more, visit www.ballyhackamore.net/category/ballyhackamore-restaurants.
Family: If you are bringing the family along on your trip, you are spoilt for choice of exciting activities, such as ten pin bowling at Dundonald Ice Bowl. Another way to spend a great couple of hours with the children is at Aunt Sandra’s Candy Factory where you can watch traditional sweets being made. Streamvale Open Farm is a great place for families to enjoy and learn about the countryside, to experience a real farmyard and to have the opportunity to get up close to the farm animals.
Accommodation: The Park Avenue Hotel, The Stormont Hotel and Ashfield Bed and Breakfast are great places to stay during your visit to Belfast. They are all situated on main bus routes which make east Belfast and the rest of Belfast extremely accessible. Download the Translink (local transport provider) app for your smartphone for timetables and bus routes.
George Best: If you fancy an altogether authentic experience why not stay in The George Best House, the childhood home of a football legend! The home where George lived before travelling to Manchester, and where his mother and father remained, is now available as a holiday rental and includes three bedrooms, a bathroom, kitchen, living room and front and back gardens.
Whatever you get up to in East Belfast, have a great time!
Directions to Visit East Belfast
Metro 3 from Belfast City Centre